Book Review – Eleanor and Park

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Title: Eleanor and Park

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Synopsis:

Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.

Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

Rating: 4 stars

Review: THIS BOOK!!!

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Two misfits – the introverted Park, and the self-conscious Eleanor – end up on a bus-seat together, and that’s just the start of their relationship. Eleanor has a difficult home life to hide from the world, and Park doesn’t feel like he belongs, but slowly they get to know each other, and romance blossoms.

I was initially wary of reading this because of all the hype – I was disappointed in ‘Fangirl’ after all the hype about it – but this time I was so not disappointed. Everything about this book lived up to what I expected, and then some.  I ended up staying up late to finish this, because I was so hooked.

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The story wasn’t one of insta-love, which I loved. It was realistic, like two real teenagers falling in love, and I loved the slow burn of their relationship. It built up, and it was incredible to read. They got to know each other, and even though I’m as much a fan of fluffy insta-love as the next girl, it was refreshing to read a love story like this.

Out of all the characters, I identified with Eleanor the most – lots of siblings, a difficult home life that you don’t want outside people to know about, sticking out like a sore thumb because of the way you look. Eleanor just wants to blend into the background, to be invisible. That was the part that really struck a chord. I really admire the delicate way that Rowell deals with sensitive issues like bullying, and domestic abuse, as well as body image problems.

As for Park, I’m officially in love. He’s a romantic, he gets to learn to drive his dad’s Impala (my dream car!) and he’s a comic book nerd with mix-tapes. That’s not even mentioning that he wears eyeliner, which is very hot. I just love Park so much that words don’t even do him justice.

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The only reason I give this book four stars instead of the full five, is because of the very bittersweet ending. If you’ve read the book, you know what I mean, but if you haven’t, you have to read the book to understand. It’s just….

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Some of my favourite quotes are:

Eleanor was right. She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.

“I don’t like you, Park,” she said, sounding for a second like she actually meant it. “I… Sometimes I think I live for you.”

I definitely enjoyed this book a lot more than ‘Fangirl’ and I’d recommend it to anyone who’s a fan of ‘The Perks of Being A Wallflower’ or any of John Green’s books. Go forth, and read, my lovelies!

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